Exploding the Myths of Line Cleaning

As an experienced Licensee you will know the importance of cleaning, in fact, they say cleanliness is next to godliness but in the pub game cleanliness is godliness.

But, have you ever stopped to think what part of the beer dispense system poses the highest risk to the quality of your beer? You may be surprised to learn that those little plastic nozzles that you use to direct and modify the flow of beer into the glass are the main culprits.

They are soaked in beer for long periods of time in a warm environment, fiddled with by bored bar staff and come into contact with every pint. So, how do you clean them effectively?

We present; the urban myth of nozzle cleaning

Many Licensees drop their pump nozzles into a pint of cold soda water every night and in the morning, they are clean. The myth is that at night something magical happens that changes the soda water into a super cleaning mixture. Better still they put the coke and lemonade ones in with them and they are sparkly too. WRONG.

Nozzles do not come clean in cold soda water. I’ve heard it said that its down to the bubbles and I wish it were true. I could become very rich selling people boxes of bubbles.! Putting coke nozzles in too makes it worse as the sugar and yeast react and create even more nasties to contaminate your nozzles.

The real cost of unclean nozzles

If you use dirty nozzles you are potentially going to cost yourself a lot of money. The beer will go off quicker and you will get fobbing problems at dispense. If a pub has 10 taps and get a waste tray full of fobbing beer every session that works out at £46,720 worth of beer at a retail price of £3.20 pint. That’s a nice holiday!

So, what’s the best way to deal with these significant little horrors?

The simplest way is to wash them under a warm tap and use a small brush to clean them, then leave them to dry on a towel at the back of the bar. Even better, use a sanitizing solution and leave them soaking overnight, rinse in clean water the following day and you’re ready to go.

Once a week when you are line cleaning pull through some fresh line cleaner into a glass and put the nozzles in for a good deep clean, always remembering to thoroughly rinse them in fresh water before use.

The anatomy of a nozzle


Nozzles come in all shapes and sizes – like these simple cask beer nozzles

cask nozzles

Keg nozzles

Keg beer nozzles can be straight through or they may have orifice plates in them

If they have the orifice plates, it’s important to take them apart when they are cleaned. Just be careful not to do it over a plughole as they tend to fall down it!

Nozzle 3

Who would have thought that these small insignificant things could cause so much trouble and cost you so much money.

A simple cleaning regime will improve your beer and allow you to have a great holiday as well…. a win-win result!

Article for CellarCraft by Mark Tetlow at The beer Hub

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